At NAMM the guys from Fuzzrocious brought their Ram the Manparts with a bit of a twist; the pedal now comes in blue instead of red and has a slightly different wording as well. To give you a quick overview; this is an extreme fuzz pedal, even at moderate settings (around 12 o’clock) and is probably best suited for people with an appetite for destruction. It features a volume control, a boost toggle and also a “voltage sag”, which basically means that you can starve the chip inside to get some interesting sounds. Turn the right dial all the way down and your sound will completely disappear!
The EHX Key 9 comes with just enough buttons and inputs, you don’t feel overwhelmed when faced with all the control dials. The operation of the pedal is also very easy and straightforward; you get a dry and a wet volume and two control dials. Usually Ctrl 1 is for the intensity of the effect, Ctrl 2 is to determine the speed. Last but not least there’s the voicing dial with 9 sounds to choose from (hence the name). The pedal comes with a DC adapter, it uses 9 volts like most other pedals, so it won’t be too much of a hassle to put on your pedalboard.
The EHX Cock Fight is what is called a “static wah”, meaning you have a regular wah pedal stuck at a certain frequency. You can of course change this sound by turning the freq. knob on the pedal. In total there are two way modes, called “cry” (more like a regular wah) and “talk” (which sounds a bit like a voice box). As an added bonus you also get a built-in fuzz in the pedal, which can be put pre-signal or post, which gives you more sounds to play with. The biggest feature in my opinion is the fact that you get the option to use an expression pedal as well, which turns the pedal into a regular wah. I do recommend this to get the maximum potential out of the Cock Fight. The pedal comes in a big box with a complimentary DC Adapter, but you can also put this on your pedalboard with any 9V power supply in liking to a Boss pedal.
Carlsbad, CA, (December 10, 2015) – Demand for customized, unique sound is driving fretted products and effects sales to a seven-year high, while fueling a new wave of boutique pedal builders. Over the last decade, the retail value of the effects pedal category has increased more than 45%, with a 13.7% gain in 2014.
The emergence of hundreds of up-and-coming pedal brands can be traced to new technology and easier global distribution, of both ideas and components. Robert Keeley, founder of Keeley Electronics, Inc., has seen his Edmond, OK business double since 2012. It is now producing more than 2,000 units per month. “Our products are almost completely hand-built and we cater to a group of people who are in the market for specialty-purpose pedals,” said Keeley. Big- name players including John Mayer, Jimmy Buffet and Dream Theater’s John Petrucci are among those who have called on Keeley for customized pedals, with some of those pedals crossing over into a limited-edition commercial run.
Joel Korte, founder of Minnesota-based Chase Bliss Audio has seen sales double in the last year and adds, “Musicians like to experiment with sound using pedals because the experience is very visceral and pedals are hands-on and offer the artist control right away.”
Affordability has also emerged as a major factor in the surge as artists add distortion, phasers and vibrato to their signature sound. The cottage industry of boutique pedal makers offers ways to tweak and discover sounds for an average price of $100-$400 dollars.
Many of these emerging builders, including Akron, Ohio’s family-owned EarthQuaker Devices, have also focused on demonstrating their products for non-traditional pedal players, such as sax, synth and violin players. Julie Robbins of EarthQuaker Devices emphasizes that innovative, specialty-designed sound is a key factor in the company’s success. “We answer the call of experimental musicians who love to create sounds that inspire them to go in new directions,” said Robbins. “Some just want to recreate classic tones, while others use their pedals as a way to actually define their newest album, and we cater to both.”
Demand is also up for pedals that couple long-lasting new technology with “old school” parts to create coveted “vintage” analog sounds. Pete Celi, co-founder of growing Southern California builder Strymon, says interest in vintage pedals has skyrocketed, including tape delays, vintage amp tremolos, pedals from the 70s, but he notes these originals can be unreliable on tour and prices make those purchases beyond the reach of most musicians. “This creates an opportunity for pedals that can capture those sought-after sounds and yet be conveniently and reliably used at gigs,” said Celi.
Strymon employs a one-on-one strategy with musicians, regularly holding open-studio parties. Celi says the conversations are paying off. “We believe everybody is an artist.”
Since I only focus on pedals and have been running this site for 12.5 years, I see more than anyone else. I know what's new and what's not and I also spot new pedals at unexpected booths. At NAMM 2013 I saw 280 new pedals!
If you're going as well: let's meet!
The shirts look great! The logo was designed by WeirdBeard who also designed a lot of pedals, posters for gigs,... and this time you can choose from 8 colors including black!
You still need Christmas gifts for guitar playing friends/family/...?
You want to have a chance at winning 1 of 9 prizes?
T-Rex from Vejle, Denmark started out in the mid nineties, making MIDI switchers and then moved to making guitar effect pedals. Their first pedal line up consisted of a compressor, tremolo, overdrive and distortion and these were embraced by the pedal aficionados and praised as being top quality pedals.
They were. And T-Rex did not stop there and went on to release great sounding modulation and time based effects. Apart from a side step into the world of boutique guitar amps, T-Rex continuously specialized in designing guitar pedals and accessories and unleashed the affordable Tonebug series, the Dual function pedals, a series of tube pedals, power supplies, pedalboards and bags, even multi effect and more recently a ... wait for it ... tape delay – ay - ay – ay.
So, T-Rex has not been sitting still and kept reinventing their own line of pedals, nowadays it consists of a line-up of sleek compact pedals. One effect that T-Rex did not offer was a pitch shifter.
Until now. Read on to find out more about the T-Rex Quint Machine.
A compact size pedal, it measures 60x50x117 mm, in a distinguished purple brownish color with a darker striping pattern, in- and output and 9V DC socket on top.
Red status LED and soft FET bypass on/off switch, slightly off center. T-Rex badge in the middle.
The Quint Machine has 4 controls, Fifth Up, +1 and -1 Octave and Mix.
Stylish cream colored fluted knobs with black markers
The Quint Machine also takes 9V batteries, but drains these instantly, so better to user a power supply. And you need a special tool to gain access to the battery compartment, so not that practical.
I added some official pictures and more info to the page and I replaced my YouTube videos with better versions (something went wrong with most of the videos I made at Musikmesse when I rendered them the first time, so they were only online for a short time).
NAMM 2016 is still 3 months away, but I started making plans to attend again, hopefully without NAMMthrax and blisters from hell this time, but not wearing brand new shoes and not having to run to catch a plane after arriving with the wrong passport first should help! I try to go every other year but my 2nd son made me skip an extra year. Since the costs for such a trip (from Belgium...) are quite high I decided to do another T-shirt campaign to help me fund it.
With the previous batches I got a lot of requests for a black shirt, so that will definitely be one of the options. Yes, "one of", I'll probably offer quite a lot of colors (all with the same colors of print). It's possible that I'll do 2 campaigns: 1 for shirts printed in the US (as last times) and one for shirts printed in Europe (cheaper shipping) if I can make that clear on the campaign pages (at the manufacturer's site).
The shirt will show the Effects Database logo (again), but with a bigger "monster" and smaller text than the previous shirts. The logo was designed by David Medel aka Weirdbeard72, who also designed a lot of gig posters, shirts, cd covers and pedals for Catalinbread, Earthquaker Devices,...
Shirts from the previous campaigns (for NAMM 2013 and a small one for those who missed that) were bought by a lot of badass/cool/lovely/... people/friends including a lot of pedal manufacturers (including Mike Matthews from Electro-Harmonix!) and "media people" (Burgs, JustNick, Rebecca Dirks,...) and other friends/followers/readers from around the world (USA, UK, Norway, Argentina, Greece, Austrlia,...) as you can see here (Facebook album) and here (pictures of the first campaign only, but here on this site).
I'll show these shirts on social media a few more times, just to avoid getting a lot of questions for shirts after the campaign is over ;-)
This tiny sized pedal won't leave a big footprint on your pedalboard and it won't set you back much. But is it worth even the small investment? For many, a compressor is an effect that is too subtle to invest in but it can certainly help you in sounding consistent. Especially for rhythm players or acoustic aficionado's a compressor is a useful tool in the box.
This pedal has a few nice quirks like a lid to shield of the tiny knobs for the impact of your big feet. Whether it is to prevent breaking off knobs or for keeping you from altering your settings while stomping it, it sure channels you into a "set and forget" scenario.
The knobs are a bit small but they are usable enough because of their shape and color. With this small size, they allow you to have 4 controls: Volume, sensitivity, mix dry/wet and attack response time. (what should be more than enough options for such a small pedal)
You'll know when it's on; 2 obvious clear leds will tell you. That might be another reason to close the lid. When closed, the logo on the lid shines and that's a nice touch. I think the power input on the right side might be problematic for some plugs so I wonder if there went as much thinking in that as in the lid.